Jasper’s robots assemble fresh meals for nearby apartment dwellers • TechCrunch
After trying to sell her technology to big food service companies, she started automating cooking jasper Switched to direct consumer. In a recent conversation, CEO Gunnar Froh told TechCrunch about the hub and gave an overall update for the company, which is a member of this year’s Battlefield 200 at Disrupt 2022.
When Gunnar founded Jasper several years ago (as YPC Technologies) with human-robot interaction expert Camilo Perez Quintero, their motivation was primarily to save time in cooking.. After developing robotic technologies to automate cooking processes, they chose a company-to-market approach, hoping to sell their platform to food suppliers and service vendors. But The company never really gained corporate traction, and Gunnar hoped it would.
The company turned into a hub a few months ago, rebranding to Jasper and adopting what Gunnar calls the “cook-as-a-service” model. Jasper now operates automated kitchens in or near apartment blocks, charging residents a subscription fee in addition to the cost of meal ingredients.
“Eating good meals at home is expensive or time consuming. Food delivery is very inefficient – ghost restaurants or kitchens make meals for a few dollars and then pay someone to ship them across town. While most customers don’t realize it, about Half their dollars on platform fees and delivery costs,” Gunnar told TechCrunch. “By operating automated kitchens in or next to high-rise apartment buildings, Jasper eliminates labor and delivery inefficiencies to serve up fresh, delicious meals to residents at the expense of home cooking. Jasper meals are coated on porcelain allowing their customers to cut down on up to a third of their household waste.”
Food automation startups are having a moment, as demonstrated by Chipotle’s recently investment At Miso Robotics’ tortilla making robot. Not surprisingly – a lack of labor and increasingly expensive components make food-grade robots an attractive proposition. in 2020, Karakuri She landed $8.4 million for her automated canteen to prepare meals. last may, Chef robots He raised $7.7 million with the goal of helping automate certain aspects of food preparation. A few months later, the Sweetgreen salad series Buyer Kitchen robotics startup Spyce, and last summer Makeline earned $24 million for its robot that collects lunches automatically.
Jasper competes more directly with Los Angeles-based Nommi, which provides standalone food stalls to real estate and campus partners. But Gunnar assures that Jasper’s stand is capable of making a wide range of menu items (ranging from $1.20 to $16.90), including cod with steamed potatoes, sweet pepper chicken and desserts like sticky toffee pudding.
“We use machine learning to schedule tasks and distribute ingredients. We intend to add it as well to enable the personal chef experience,” Gunnar Sad. “In the same way that Spotify can predict the music you love, Jasper will predict the meals our customers want to eat… No other food bot company we know can currently serve customers at home the way Jasper does that no other system can prepare them.” A menu as versatile as ours.”
Jasper says it has run several trials in a mid-rise apartment building over the past year, and over the past month has launched Jasper in six apartment buildings. So far, only about 231 customers have ordered food from Jasper via the company’s ordering platform. But in a sign that investors are happy with the current progress, Jasper has raised $3.5 million from backers including Toyota Ventures.
In an emailed statement, Toyota Ventures founding managing director Jim Adler said: “Toyota Ventures made an early investment in Jasper because we are excited about the team’s vision of bringing fresh cooking, exciting menus, and high quality food closer to consumers. They have focused on how best to deliver everyday meals. For home customers. They have impressive early traction driven by labor shortages in the restaurant industry and growing consumer demand for affordable food options. It’s a perfect storm for Jasper which creates a huge opportunity for the company to improve the way we eat every day.”
Gunnar says the goal is to reach $2.5 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) as it prepares to raise $7 million in additional capital. Jasper, which employs 13 people (a number that Gunnar expects to rise to 15 by the end of the year), has a current ARR of “below” $100,000.
“We have just launched Jasper in multiple buildings over the past few weeks and we are going to increase revenue,” Gunnar said. “This funding will increase the automation of our operations to reach an hourly revenue of $167.”